Just Color Picker

Free portable offline colour picker and colour editor for web designers and digital artists

While taking part in any routine, graphic designers, digital artists and webmasters often see colours and colour combinations they would like to use in their projects. With Just Color Picker, identifying the colours, saving, editing and combining them into beautiful colour combinations is a quick and simple job. Unlike many other apps, Just Color Picker was created by a person who actually uses it on an everyday basis. It is software for designers and digital artists created by a designer and digital artist.

Just Color Picker for Windows - main window, extended mode
Just Color Picker, main window

Just Color Picker features:

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Supported platforms: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 — 32 and 64 bit; macOS X 10.6.6 or later — 64 bit. Portable, no installation required.

For Windows 95, 98, ME or NT Just Color Picker v2.1 is still available for downloading in the Version History below, so is the 32-bit version 5.1 for macOS.

License: freeware.

Latest version: 5.2, released 22 January 2019.

What's new in v5.2: added colour CMY format, improved input check for code-to-colour conversion, upgraded macOS file from 32 to 64 bit.

Minor updates for v5.2:
1 Feb 2019: improved compatibility with macOS Mojave dark mode.
10 Jun 2019: small bug-fixes in the macOS version.
5 Sep 2019: improved high-DPI compatibility on some devices.

Download free Just Color Picker 5.2 for Windows (exe, 64 bit, portable, size 3.1MB)

Download free Just Color Picker 5.2 for Windows (zip, 64 bit, portable, size 1.0MB). Both the zip and exe files are portable and identical. The zip alternative is offered purely for convenience.

Download free Just Color Picker 5.2 for Windows (exe, 32 bit, portable, size 2.3MB).

Download free Just Color Picker 5.2 for macOS X (dmg, 64 bit, size 2.2MB)

User Manual

Main window (Compact mode)

Just Color Picker is a tool for capturing the colour of any pixel in any screen area and displaying its code in a variety of formats: HTML, RGB, HEX, HSB/HSV, HSL, HWB, CMY, CMYK and Delphi.

The colour of the pixel that your mouse cursor is currently pointing at is shown in the current colour area at the top left corner of the application window, with the code of that colour, the coordinates of that pixel, and the horizontal and vertical distance between the two latest-picked pixels displayed below it.

Just Color Picker main window, compact mode
Just Color Picker, main window (compact mode)

To pick a colour and its code, choose the desired format in the colour code format list, then point the mouse cursor at any pixel or a screen area and press the hotkey. The default hotkey combination for capturing the colour is Alt+X (can be changed in Hotkeys menu).

To copy the code of the colour to the clipboard, click the Copy Value button: it will copy the whole content of the colour code field, or its selected part if you selected a part of the code beforehand.

All the colours you picked since the launch of the program are displayed in the colour list on the right side of the window. To select a colour in the list, simply click the colour line. This will make the colour active and its code will be displayed in the colour code field ready to be copied or edited. You can move the selected colour line up or down in the list using mouse drag-and-drop. A right-click on a selected colour line allows you to copy the colour code to the clipboard, add or edit a comment for the colour, or delete the colour from the list. You can also delete a colour from the list by selecting it with a left-click and then pressing the Delete key.

The colour list is connected to the standard Windows Color Dialog and macOS Color Picker. Double click a colour in the list to open it in the operating system's colour dialog. If you edited the colour in the dialog and clicked Ok, the new colour will override the original colour in the Just Color Picker list. If you wish to keep the original colour, pick the new colour from the dialog with Just Colour Picker and then click Cancel in the dialog: this will add the new colour to the colour list, leaving the original colour unchanged.

Main window extension (Extended mode)

The button with a down/up arrow (next to the Copy Value button) expands the program window and opens the RGB/HSV/HSL colour editor, gradient field and harmonious colour scheme generator.

Just Color Picker main window, extended mode, with comments
Just Color Picker, main window (extended mode)

The RGB/HSV/HSL colour editor contains the latest-picked colour or the selected colour, which you can modify and then pick the resulting colour for your further needs. Use the RGB mode to change red, green or blue components of the colour. Switch to HSV or HSL modes if you need to change the colour's hue, saturation, or value or lightness.

The harmonious colour scheme generator suggests a few colours that may be a good combination with the latest-picked, selected or being-edited colour. With this feature, you can quickly find a nice colour combination, for example for your web site. Simply choose the main colour of your design, and the colour picker will offer a few colours harmoniously matching with it. These colours are merely a suggestion; you can pick and edit any of them further.

The gradient feature provides you with a wide range of nuances and gradations between the two latest picked or selected colours, in case you need an in-between colour.

Code-to-Colour conversion

For the inverse process of converting colour codes into the corresponding colours, enter the colour code into the colour code field and press Enter. The colour will appear in the colour list and its code will be displayed in the colour code field in exactly the same way as if you picked the colour from the screen.

Just Color Picker can convert HTML, HEX and RGB codes into colours:

If Just Color Picker does not display the colour after you pressed Enter, it means the colour code has been entered incorrectly. Correct the input and press Enter again.

Screen freeze

The screen freeze feature (Windows only) comes handy for picking the original colour of an element that changes its colour when the mouse cursor hovers over it. To pick the colour before it changes, press the screen freeze key combination (default Ctrl+Shift+Z, can be changed in Hotkeys menu), hover the mouse over the element and press the colour-picking combination (default Alt+X). This will grab the original colour and defreeze the screen. The screen can also be defreezed without picking a colour, simply by pressing the screen freeze key combination again.

Main menu

Options

Just Color Picker features 3x, 9x and 15x zoom of the mouse cursor area. Use the Zoom menu to change the zoom magnification or to switch it off. You can also use PageUp/PageDown keys for zooming in and out whenever Just Color Picker window is active with the Zoom enabled.

Colour Sample Area menu offers an option for picking either the exact colour of a single pixel, or an average colour value of a 3 by 3, 5 by 5, or 7 by 7 pixel area with the pixel pointed at in the centre of the area. When the 3 by 3 Average, 5 by 5 Average, or 7 by 7 Average option is chosen, a grey rectangle bounding the averaged pixels appears in the zoom field, and a “3x3 Avg”, “5x5 Avg”, or “7x7 Avg” label is shown in the current colour area.

To change the hotkeys, go to the Hotkeys menu. Select a new hotkey combination for picking the colour value or freezing the screen by pressing the keys (will be displayed in the window), then click Ok. Be careful: do not choose a combination that is already assigned to another program, otherwise the combinations may not work correctly in either of the programs.

The Auto Copy option enables automatic copying of the latest-picked colour code to the clipboard.

Use the Show CSS code option to display colour values in the colour code filed in CSS syntax. This option affects the HTML, RGB, HSL, HWB and CMYK colour formats; it will display, for example, red colour as #FF0000, rgb(255, 0, 0), hsl(0, 100%, 50%), hwb(0, 0%, 0%) and cmyk(0%, 100%, 100%, 0%) respectively.

Enabling the Stay on Top option will keep Just Color Picker window over all other program windows until you close or minimize it, or disable the Stay on Top option.

Tools

The Tools menu contains the Colour Wheels and Text tools.

RYB colour wheel
Colour wheel

The Colour Wheels tool displays RGB (Red, Green, Blue) / CMY (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow), and RYB (Red, Yellow, Blue) colour wheels for the latest-picked or selected colour. The colour wheels have the selected colour, triads and complementary colours marked, and contain as many colours as defined in the Number of Colours option. You can open any number of wheel windows to compare the colours. Please note that white, black and shades of neutral grey are not technically colours: they do not have saturation, and, therefore, they cannot produce a corresponding colour wheel.

RGB colour circle can be used for finding harmonious colour combinations within additive colour model and digital output devices like computer screens. RYB colour circle is used for working with colour mixing and colour harmony in subtractive colour model, which is a classical theory of colour vision and pigment mixing still widely implemented in visual arts, particularly in painting.

Just Color Picker text tool
Text tool

The Text tool helps to find out whether a particular combination of font colour and background colour is going to look good and be easy to read. The tool becomes available whenever you picked two or more colours. It offers a comprehensive list of all fonts installed in your system, a list of standard font sizes with an option to enter any other font size, and a copy of the picked colour list for choosing the font and background colours. The window can be resized to accommodate large fonts and lengths of text.

Colour List

If you don't want to lose the picked colours when you exit Just Color Picker, or need to keep some colours separately for future use, go to the Save As menu to save the colour list to a text file. Use the Open menu item to load it back later. The Clear All command clears the list. You can also save the picked colours to an HTML file, which displays the picked colours in a more user-friendly format, with colour swatches, but keep in mind that HTML files cannot be loaded back into the colour picker.

If you always work with the same colour list, you can make Just Color Picker open the same colour list file on every start. For that, save your colour list to a file named jcpicker.txt to the directory where you placed jcpicker.exe file.

In addition, Just Color Picker can open, edit and save Adobe Photoshop .aco colour swatches (Adobe Color files) in RGB and HSB format. It can also read, edit and save GIMP .gpl palette files.

Portability and jcpicker.ini file (for Windows)

Just Colour Picker is a portable application, which means you don't need to install or un-install it. Just double click the downloaded jcpicker.exe file to start using it. If you want to remove Just Color Picker from your computer, simply delete its .exe file.

When Just Colour Picker is run from the computer's hard disk, it saves all its settings in the Just Color Picker.cfg file in the Application Data folder in the Local Settings on disk C, or in the Windows registry (in older versions). However, when Just Color Picker is run from a portable device, e.g. USB memory stick, it creates a jcpicker.ini file and saves all its settings there. The jcpicker.ini file resides in the same folder where you keep jcpicker.exe and eliminates the need to tune Just Color Picker every time you run it on a new computer from a portable device.

Those who would prefer Just Colour Picker to create the .ini file even when it is run from the hard disk, and those who are particular about their Windows registry, should use “/ini” key when they run Just Color Picker for the first time. With this key, Just Color Picker will create the .ini file even when run from a non-portable device. Alternatively, simply create an empty jcpicker.ini file in the folder with Just Color Picker. Once there is a jcpicker.ini file in the same folder with jcpicker.exe, Just Color Picker won't use a config file or Windows registry and will keep all the settings in the .ini file. If you want to transfer Just Color Picker to another device or computer with all your settings, simply copy both jcpicker.exe and jcpicker.ini files.

How to use /ini key

You only need to use this key once, when you open Just Color Picker for the first time. Use command line or Run command from the Start menu. Type the path to the jcpicker.exe file, then type space and /ini, and press Enter. For example:

"C:\Portable Programs\ColourPicker\jcpicker.exe" /ini

About colour code formats

HTML, HEX and RGB colour codes consist of three parts that define the combination of Red, Green and Blue colour components. The first two characters of HTML and HEX code or the first number of RGB code define the red component, the next two characters or the second number define the green component, and the last two characters or the last number define the blue. The value of each part of the colour code can vary from 00 to FF for HTML and HEX, from 0 to 255 for RGB, and from 0 to 1 for RGB [0,1].

HSB and HSV. The HSB (Hue, Saturation, Brightness) or HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) colour codes define a colour in terms of the following three components:

Hue (H) gives the colour its name, such as “pink” or “yellow”. Hue ranges from 0 to 360 degrees and looks like a colour wheel, starting with primary red at 0°, passing through green at 120°, blue at 240° and then wrapping back to red at 360°; all mixtures between the adjacent pairs of colours are linear.

HSB/HSV Saturation (S) is the purity of the colour, a measure of the amount of white mixed with a pure hue. The lower the saturation of a colour, the more faded or dull the colour looks. The higher the saturation, the purer and more intense the colour appears. Mixing pure colours with white produces so-called tints and reduces saturation. Saturation ranges from 0 to 100%.

Brightness (B)/Value (V) of a colour refers to the amount of black present in the hue. Mixing pure colours with black produces shades and affects the brightness/value of the colours while leaving the saturation unchanged. Value ranges from 0 to 100%, with pure colours at 100%, and near-black colours close to 0%.

HSV and HSB colour representation
HSV and HSB colour representation

Some applications use different ranges for the components. For example, S and V/B can vary from 0 to 1, H may be normalized to 0–100%, or all three components can vary from 0 to 255. Just Color Picker uses the “degree, percent, percent” notation.

Tint, shade and tone when mixing pure colour with white, black or grey
Tint, shade and tone: tints are made by mixing a pure colour with white, shades are made by mixing a pure colour with black, and tones are made either by mixing a pure colour with grey, or by simultaneous tinting and shading.

HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) has hue (H) defined as in HSB/HSV and ranging from 0 to 360°. The Lightness (L) — sometimes also called Luminance, Luminosity or Intensity — controls both shading and tinting. The transition from black to a pure hue to white is symmetric and is achieved solely by changing the lightness: at the midpoint of 50% lightness and full saturation the hue is pure; as the lightness decreases below the midpoint, it produces the effect of shading with 0% lightness being black; as lightness increases above 50%, it produces the effect of tinting with 100% lightness being white. When the HSL Saturation (S) is decreased, the lightness controls the tones of grey: L 0% still produces black, and L 100% — white, but the intermediate lightness values result in greyed colours, or neutral grey tones if S is 0%. In other words, HSL tints and shades have full saturation (S), and only tones — mixtures with both black and white — have saturation less than 100%. Pure colours have lightness (L) 50%. Both saturation and lightness range from 0 to 100%. In addition to the standard HSL (0–360°, 0–100%, 0–100%) Just Color Picker has two other HSL formats with all thee parameters ranging from 0 to 255 in HSL(255) and from 0 to 240 in HSL(240).

HSL colour representation
HSL colour representation

If you require the parameters to be in the 0–1.0 range, you can easily convert it using percents: e.g. 73% = 0.73.

CMYK is a colour model used in colour printing. It refers to the four printer inks — Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black); with each value ranging from 0 to 100. Because both RGB and CMYK colour spaces are device-dependent, there is no perfect general conversion formula between them. Just Colour Picker uses the simplest conversion, sufficient for most design applications.

CMY format consists of three elements — Cyan, Magenta and Yellow — each ranging from 0 to 100. It produces codes similar to CMYK for pure hues and tints; however once the colour moves into shades or tones (black is added), CMY codes start to differ from CMYK due to the black component becoming a part of C, M and Y instead of being separated into K.

HWB is a colour model developed as a more intuitive alternative to HSV and HSL, and is supposed to be easier to use. The hue (H) component is the same as in HSV and HSL. Each pure hue can also have whiteness (W) and blackness (B) ranging from 0 to 100%.

Delphi TColor format is a colour representation used in Delphi and Lazarus programming languages. It is a specific 4-byte hexadecimal number, with the lower three bytes representing RGB colour in the $00BBGGRR format. For example, value $00FF0000 is pure, full-intensity blue, and $000000FF is pure red.

Using keyboard for a greater mouse pointer precision on Windows

There are two ways to move the mouse cursor using the keyboard. The simple way: make sure Just Color Picker window is active and press Ctrl + ArrowKeys.

The global way: Windows offers the Mouse Keys option for controlling the mouse cursor with keyboard. To be able to move the mouse pointer with keys on your keyboard, you need to switch this feature on:

Now you should be able to use the numeric keypad on your keyboard for moving the mouse pointer as follows:

This function is a part of Windows and Just Color Picker has no control over it. Enabling this option will affect the whole system, not only Just Color Picker.

Using keyboard for a greater mouse pointer precision on macOS X

There are two ways to move the mouse cursor using the keyboard. The simple way: make sure Just Color Picker window is active and press Option/Alt + ArrowKeys.

The global way: you can enable Mouse Keys and use the keyboard or numeric keypad for moving the mouse pointer and pressing the mouse button. To enable Mouse Keys, press Command+Option+F5 and select the checkbox. Or go to Apple menu, then System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Mouse & Trackpad, then select the Enable Mouse Keys checkbox.

With a numeric keypad:

With the keyboard:

Note: when Mouse Keys is on, you can't use the keyboard or numeric keypad to enter text.

The standard boring yet important disclaimer

This product is distributed “as is”. No warranty of any kind is expressed or implied. You use this software at your own risk. The author is not liable for data loss, damages, loss of profits or any other kind of loss incurred directly or indirectly while downloading, using or performing any other action in relation to this software.

Questions and Answers

I'm pressing the default hotkey combination Alt+X, but the Color Picker doesn't pick the colour.

The hotkey combination may be already assigned to another application installed on your computer. To fix the problem, simply choose a different hotkey combination in the Color Picker's Options menu.

Just Color Picker keeps picking the same grey/black colour no matter what colour I point the mouse to.

Open Mouse Properties in Windows Control Panel, go to Pointer Options and make sure that the “Display pointer trails” setting is disabled. Mouse cursor trails add an extra layer to the mouse pointer and make the colour picker pick the colour of the tip of the mouse pointer rather than the underlying colours.

Why does Color Picker sometimes show slightly different colour codes for exactly same colour?

Occasionally, the colour code you set in the colour editor may be slightly different the code for the same colour displayed in the current colour area. This happens as a result of the rounding discrepancy that arises from calculations during colour format conversions. The difference is usually no greater that 1 gradation and should not be significant enough to become obvious to the human eye. For the same reason you may see a small difference in codes when using different software.

When I run Just Color Picker from my USB stick, it creates jcpicker.ini file. What is it?

Just Color Picker recognises when it is run from a portable device and creates jcpicker.ini file that contains all its settings. It saves you tuning of Just Color Picker every time you run it on a new computer from a portable device. When you run Just Color Picker from your computer's disk, it does not create the settings file, because in this case all the settings are saved on that computer. Read more about Just Color Picker's .ini file and portability. You can delete the .ini file at any time if you wish. This will simply erase all the changes you made in the Just Color Picker settings.

How to uninstall Just Color Picker? I can't find it in the list of installed programs in Windows.

Just Color Picker is portable software and therefore doesn't need to be installed or uninstalled. To start using Just Color Picker, simply download the jcpicker.exe file and run it: it is immediately ready for use, nothing is being installed, and this is why Just Color Picker doesn't appear in the list of installed software. To delete Just Color Picker from your computer, simply close it and delete the jcpicker.exe file.

When deleting Just Color Picker, more thorough users may like to delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AnnyStudio\ColorPicker registry key if they didn't run Just Color Picker from a portable device or didn't use the /ini key.

Please note: some software websites wrap the original program files into their own installers, which may contain unwanted add-ons, annoying adware or even malicious software. Therefore, it is always wise to download Just Color Picker from annystudio.com rather than from any other site. Only downloading the program directly from annystudio.com can guarantee that you are getting an original, clean, portable colour picker file without any unwanted additions.

Can Just Color Picker be used in a commercial environment (for example, in a professional design studio)?

Yes. You can use Just Color Picker wherever you like, provided you comply with the copyright conditions.

We would like to publish a note about your software in a magazine/ include your software into cover CD/ publish on a web-site/ etc and want to ask your permission.

Just Color Picker has no limits on its usage and distribution as long as the program file is not modified in any way (including its incorporation into any downloaders or installers, or addition of advertisement) and you comply with the copyright section. You can share this software with friends and colleagues, burn it onto CDs, DVDs or other media, include it onto cover CDs, publish notes in magazines, write articles on other website, share the information about it via social media, or upload it to software archives without asking permission. Your efforts in making this little program more popular and any additional links to annystudio.com website are appreciated.

I like your free software. What can I do for you?

You can help to make Just Color Picker more widely used by recommending it to your friends and colleagues, or by adding comments and reviews about Just Color Picker on the sites and social media you use. You can also support some of the causes I deeply care about.

If you have 15–20 minutes of free time and are fluent in any language other than English, you can help other users by translating its interface, or by correcting, completing and improving the existing translations.

To translate the interface, simply download the zip-archive with language text files. If you are improving an existing translation, open the file with your language and edit/translate the words and sentences after the “=” signs in each line. If you are adding a new language, take the English file and translate each line after the “=” sign. When finished, save the text file as UTF-8 and send it via the contact form.

Version History

Ver­sion Release Date What's New
5.2 22 Jan 2019 Added CMY format; improved input check for code-to-colour conversion; upgraded macOS file from 32 to 64 bit.
5.1 19 Mar 2018 Improved handling of high DPI screens; corrected cursor positioning in multi-screen setups; added 7x7 pixel averaged colour sampling.
This is the last 32-bit macOS version: download Just Color Picker 5.1 (dmg), size 1.81 MB
5.0 15 Jan 2018 Improved handling of larger system fonts; added HWB and RGB Integer colour formats; added Screen Freeze feature for sampling the colour of the elements that change on mouse-hover (Windows only).
4.6 11 May 2016 Added automatic copying of the latest-picked colour code to the clipboard; improved support of Grayscale and CMYK colour spaces in .aco files; comments for identical colours are now combined into one line separated by semicolons.
4.5 9 Mar 2016 Added the option to display and copy CSS-compatible colour codes for Hexadecimal/HTML, RGB and HSL formats; added interaction with the standard Windows or macOS colour dialog.
4.4 23 Nov 2015 Added support of PageUp/PageDown keys for zooming in and out; added moving the mouse cursor with keyboard: Option/Alt + ArrowKeys (macOS only).
4.3 19 Mar 2015 Added the ability to re-order the colour entries in the colour list using mouse drag-and-drop; added the calculation of the horizontal and vertical distance between the two latest-picked pixels – convenient for measuring the size of objects and gaps; improved adaptability of the interface font size; added Delphi TColor code format.
4.2 16 Oct 2014 Ability to open, edit and save Photoshop's .aco colour swatches (Adobe Color files) and GIMP's .gpl palette files.
4.1 1 Oct 2014 Improved precision of the colour code calculation; new colour scheme generator.
4.0 8 Jul 2014 Added CMYK colour format; improved multiple monitor support: now the primary monitor can be either side; released macOS version.
3.5 10 Apr 2014 Added multiple monitors support; added moving the mouse cursor with keyboard: Ctrl + ArrowKeys; fixed two bugs: always-black current colour area on Windows 7, and the application becoming unresponsive when the Stay-on-Top option was enabled.
3.4 20 Mar 2014 Added high-DPI screen support; added HTML colour list files.
The program has been completely re-written to keep up with the modern devices and systems.
New icon – Picky the Chameleon. Like Just Color Picker, he is small, quick, good-looking, and knows a lot about colours and colour matching! :-)
3.3 3 Oct 2013 Added standard HSL colour editor; fixed a minor bug in HSL colour format; the Text tool now can display bold headers.
3.2 25 Mar 2013 Added standard HSL colour format to complement the existing HSL(255) and HSL(240).
3.1 19 Jan 2013 Added the option to always open the same colour history file on start; fixed the issue of flickering zoom area, the current colour area, mouse cursor coordinates and colour code.
3.0 17 Oct 2012 Added Text Tool – great for evaluating the readability of the selected font and background colour combinations; added creation of .ini files via command line key.
2.6 1 Sep 2011 Added full red-green-blue (RGB) and red-yellow-blue (RYB) colour wheels with user-defined number of colours can be created for each picked colour.
2.5 9 May 2011 Added averaged colour picking, to make it easy to pick colours in the areas with colour noise.
2.4 4 Feb 2010 Added the ability to add a comment for each picked colour.
2.2 1 Nov 2009 Just Color Picker became Unicode, so all languages should now be displayed correctly. If some parts of the interface are not displayed in your language, it means the translation is old or incomplete. You can help by correcting or completing the existing translations.
Please note: Windows 95, 98, ME and NT do not support Unicode. If you are still using any of those, you should download the last non-Unicode Just Color Picker version 2.1: Just Color Picker 2.1 (exe), Just Color Picker 2.1 (zip)
1.9 1 Jun 2008 Added multilingual interface; added HSV colour editor; added new colour history features.
... ... ...
0.1 2003 The first version of the Color Picker. If was a very small and simple; just a colour picker.

Source:  annystudio.com